Writing on disability is like fine bone china — it demands a certain delicacy. Many disabled writers (or those who choose to write on our behalf) collapse into an artificial jollity, or pathetic bathos — or employ a style too far from the heart.

A worthy writer must show us the good as well as the ghastlies without the chill of unrelieved anger, without descending into fake heroics.

Many of the titles below do not appear in reading lists for college disability studies. More’s the pity: In these books one can find the truth of our world, the reality of the body, the occasional rock-bottom despair of it, and yet, over all, the revivifying spirit of the soul.